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Mark Steyn

On the Town

One for the Road

Mark is in Chicago this weekend promoting his new book, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. As we mentioned a week ago, Hugh Hewitt read it and said:

"Moon River and Me" @MarkSteynOnline '09 essay on Johnny Mercer alone worth the price of book

So, with a tip of the hat to Hugh, we dusted off part one of our Johnny Mercer centenary audio salute from five years ago. Well, we couldn't think of a better way to close out the first week of Mark's book launch than with the second part of that centenary tribute. Steyn and Hewitt spent three hours on the radio together last week, discussing the new book's content, both serious and less so, And in the course of those hours together Hugh again brought up Mark's essay on Johnny Mercer:

HUGH HEWITT: It's just a beautiful piece of writing, Mark. And I loved your little touch of the personal, which is not often in your writing, about your country club experience with "Moon River".

MARK STEYN: Yes, when I was - many, many years ago, I was 18 or 19, I took a girl I adored to a country club dance I couldn't really afford, which as you know is never a good idea.

HH: No.

MS: …particularly if you're hoping the evening will work out well with the lady in question, because you're like just incredibly nervous about it. Because you're trying to be smooth - "Well, what would you care to drink, darling?" - terrified that she's going to do more than just order the cheapest items on the menu. And the master of ceremonies announced a competition. And to win you had to answer a very simple question, and the question was how wide is Moon River? And of course, I immediately jumped up and said, as the song says, "wider than a mile". And we won a magnum of champagne, and the waiters were fawning on us. And it was just the best, it was just the best night. And as you say, I don't write about personal things terribly often - because it's often not of interest to people. But I always loved the way just knowing that one silly little bit of song lyric just transformed that evening into a magical evening for me.

These SteynOnline audio specials were first broadcast to mark the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, on November 18th 1909 in Savannah, Georgia. You can hear the first part of our centenary podcast here - and here from a month later in 2009 is Part Two, which includes such classic songs as "Fools Rush In", "Summer Wind", "I Remember You", "Skylark", "Come Rain Or Come Shine", "Day In, Day Out" plus the ornithological Johnny Mercer, the seasonal Johnny Mercer, and some great saloon songs - sung by Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Eydie Gorme, Willie Nelson, Nancy LaMott, Frank Ifield, Bow Wow Wow plus lots of Sinatra singing and lots of Mercer singing, too. Simply press play up above - and be singing along within seconds.

Part One introduces the Mercer catalogue with "Moon River", "Jeepers Creepers", "Too Marvelous For Words", "Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate The Positive", "That Old Black Magic" and many more sung by the likes of Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire, k d lang, Louis Armstrong, Rita Hayworth, the Mills Brothers, Rosemary Clooney, Clint Eastwood and more.

"Moon River And Me", Mark's essay on Mercer, appears in The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, which is published this week in the US and Canada. You can buy it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million in America, or Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson north of the border. Or, for instant gratification, get it in eBook - in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks.

And join us Sunday at SteynOnline for Steyn's Song of the Week.

from On the Town, October 25, 2014

 

Indiana Cole and his Temple of Tunes

Cole Porter died fifty years ago this week - October 15th 1964, in Santa Monica...

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Long Runs with Longhairs

Our Saturday showbiz feature this week celebrates the centenary of Robert Wright, born one hundred years ago, on September 25th 1914, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Bob who? Well, Wright and his writing partner George "Chet" Forrest were never exactly household names in the music biz, but they certainly worked with a lot of household names, including Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. The songs they wrought from classical tunes were old-fashioned even at the time, but Sinatra recorded no ...

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The Boy Next Door

Hugh Martin, composer, lyricist, vocal arranger, pianist, singer, actor and the man who gave the world the great seasonal gift of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", was born one hundred years ago this week...

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The Boy Next Door part two

To mark the centenary of composer Hugh Martin, here's the second part of Mark's two-part audio tribute to the man who gave the world "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"...

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Life is a Cabaret

Mark talks to Kander & Ebb, writers of Cabaret and Chicago - and recalls his own small place in their oeuvre

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A Land Fit for Superheroes

...but whatever happened to non-super heroes?

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And Then There Was One...

The last of the Mamas and Papas when all the leaves are brown...

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Pajama Nights on Broadway

A SteynOnline audio special to mark the 60th birthday of The Pajama Game

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Artie Shaw: Beginning the Beguine ...and Ending It

No sooner do we release the new eBook of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade than readers start bombarding me with demands to know where the audio book is. Well, here's the nearest to an audio excerpt from the book - a salute to Artie Shaw...

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Easter Parade

An audio special in which Mark traces the story of the only Easter standard in the American songbook

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What Made Buddy Run?

Mark's centenary salute to Budd Schulberg, the Hollywood survivor who wrote What Makes Sammy Run?, On The Waterfront and Face In The Crowd...

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PAUL SIMON, LONE TEEN RANGER

In lieu of our usual Song of the Week, we present a SteynOnline audio special: Mark talks to singer-songwriter Paul Simon - including a tour of Simon's boyhood neighborhood and a live performance of his very first song

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PAUL SIMON: SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A SONG ABOUT THE MOON?

In Part Two of our audio special, Paul Simon talks to Mark about songwriting, demonstrates the original ska version of "Mother And Child Reunion", and muses on the alleged homosexual subtext of "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard"

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ON THE AIR

On Friday morning Mark starts the day in Baltimore on WCBM 680 with Sean & Frank at 8:30am Eastern Time and then heads to Soundoff Connecticut with Jim Vicevich at 9:45am ET on WTIC 1080. Next, Mark heads to Texas and the Lynn Wooley Show at 9am Central.

~ In the afternoon, Mark returns to The Mike Rosen Show on 850 KOA- Denver at 1pm Mountain Time and finishes up the evening in Minneapolis-St. Paul at On The Way with Ridgeway at 5:15pm Central Time.

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